After your divorce is finalized, you may be wondering what happens with your name. Do you need to change it? If you don’t want to change it, can the ex force you to make the change?
In simple terms, no one can force or compel another person to change their name. That said, reclaiming your “maiden” name is an option for those wishing to revert to their pre-marriage name.
Reasons for Keeping Your Married Name After Divorce
In most marriages between a man and a woman, it is customary for a woman to take her husband’s last name. This isn’t a hard rule and many women opt to retain their maiden name, but the name change occurs in most marriages.
After a divorce, women often have to weigh the pros and cons of retaining their married name, or reverting back to their maiden name. Given that names are such a core part of a person’s identity, many women opt to keep the married name that they, other loved ones, and acquaintances know them as.
In other cases, she and other relatives might feel like she has truly become part of the family. In these cases, retaining the last name is also a valid option. Ultimately, this is a highly personal decision that only you can assess for yourself. Either way, both options are on the table.
How Can I Change the Kids’ Names?
Choosing for your child is a little more complicated. For one, you do need the ex’s approval/permission before making this type of decision. Furthermore, the family law courts must deem that the name change is in the best interests of the child before they greenlight it.
Process For Changing Your Name in CA
Changing your name, like many family law processes, can be a complicated process. If you’re looking to get this done during the divorce, you’ll want to include a name change decree in your divorce decree. You can also put in a name change request after the divorce has been resolved. In either case, you’ll have to pay an associated fee.
Learn more about this process, and consult with an experienced attorney who is able to walk you through every step of this process. Call us at the Law Offices of James P. White to book an initial consultation.